Out there

“Tall Boy”

“Tall Boy”

Photo By Christine LaPado

Fun, ‘cause you get to be carried: My bro Scott and I went horseback trail riding up in the forested hills above Magalia on a recent Autumn-tinged Sunday afternoon with. Doon Grade Ranch’s “horse and training manager” Dawn DeVries. The spunky, blond-maned DeVries, age 30, has been riding since she was “about 3,” and knows her stuff. (If you like horse stories, she’s got plenty to tell.) The 40-acre ranch and the horses are extremely well-kept, and the scenery is gorgeous. The Norwegian Fjord Horses are very pretty, creamy in color, with a cute, zebra-style, upright mane with a black stripe running the length of it. And they’re smart, too.

We trekked up and down trails cut through dense, shady, silent forest, lulled at times by the sound of big hooves repetitively hitting the ground. Not that you don’t have to pay attention: At the other end of the reins is a savvy critter (at times I even felt like it could tell what I was thinking) and if it wants to go after some tasty-looking leaves just off to the right or left, well, like I said, you’d better be paying attention. It’s $30 an hour for “trail-riding lessons”: 873-8132 or www.doongrade.com.

Marathon update: My bro and I walked all 26.2 miles of the Sacramento Cowtown Marathon this past Oct. 2 in six hours, 42 minutes and 48 seconds. (It was our first marathon, and I agree with everyone who told us that it’s those last 6.2 miles that are the killer.) Congratulations to fellow Chicoan Rick Turner who ran it in 3:32:59, coming in 38th overall out of 228 marathon runners and walkers (sixth in his age group). A shout-out to all the half-marathoners there from Chico: Christine Wright, Marci Pope, Lois Maxwell, Matthew Martin, Alex Smith, Gary Pope, and Woodstock’s Pizza manager and bass player Josh Read.

It’s not too early to be thinking about the Bidwell Classic Half-Marathon & 5K in Chico in March: Details at www.chicorunningclub.org.

Unstuffing the turkey. Check out www.active.com for info on activities all over the U.S. The site is divided into Individual Sports (includes cycling, triathlon, running, walking and winter sports), Team Sports (baseball, soccer, lacrosse, etc.) and Park and Community Activities (lessons and classes). Lots of information on training, gear, health, nutrition, sports news. Learn more about dog-sledding in the Pacific Northwest, how to clean up “that old dirty tent,” and when and where to go to win a Thanksgiving turkey at one of many Turkey Trots (SF’s Turkey Beach Trot is still looking for volunteers to help with its T-Day race.)